Jeff Samardzija gave up 4 earned runs on 5 hits and 1 walk in his 1st spring start in the Cubs 12-3 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday. Samardzija had a rough 1st inning, giving up home runs to Jim Edmonds and Greg Zaun. It does not bode well for Samardzija’s chances of winning a starting spot in the rotation, although Carlos Silva and Tom Gorzelanny have not fared very well in their spring starts either.
Despite the 4 runs, Samardzija was still upbeat after his outing: “They jumped on two fastballs. We’ll work in offspeed pitches earlier in the count. I thought we were aggressive, and I thought the splitter was great. The slider was here and there, but I felt pretty good… I want to take something out of every outing and get stronger every time out. It’s Spring Training and you have to build on up and get ready for the season.”
The Cubs will have a tough decision on their hands and could be in trouble with their 5th slot in the starting rotation. I still think Gorzelanny will get the 4th/5th spot in the starting rotation. And the Cubs will either use Samardzija or Silva to spot start until Ted Lilly is ready to return. Sean Marshall, the final candidate for the starting rotation, will end up in the bullpen because he is effective there and the Cubs are somewhat thin there right now with injuries.